Meet the seller – Graham Way, owner of A Life with a View
PUBLISHED: 16:42 27 January 2015 | UPDATED: 16:21 13 April 2015
HOWARD BARLOW firstname.lastname@example.org
We caught up with Tunbridge Wells based Graham Way, to find out why a Masters in Classical civilisation and a passion for fine fragrance helped him to set up a luxury candle business
How did a Life with a View come about?
A Life with a View was originally a business specialising in interior decoration in very specialist environments. We worked particularly in modernist listed homes updated tired interiors by introducing new ideas and looks. After the interior decoration side of the business came to a natural close and I decided to contact some people I knew in the fine perfumery industry – out of those meetings a Life with a View as a fragrance brand was born.
Do you have a creative background?
I do have an eye for detail – most of my working life was spent in retail with a foray into teaching. A personal passion for perfumery came about through a career, much of which was spent working in fine perfume houses and understanding how perfumery is created and subsequently enhances lives. This became the driving force behind both my academic life – I have an MA in Classical Civilisation – and the subsequent foundation of A Life with a View.
How did the brand name ‘A Life with a View’ arise?
The idea is that each fragrance should be taken from a view – inviting the user to re imagine that view in terms of how it might smell. So where ever there is a wonderful view could potentially become an A Life with a View fragrance. We have grouped our fragrances as Architectural Fragrances for the 21st century and Classical Fragrances for the 21st century with scope to expand this as time progresses.
Talk us through your collection…
We have kept the products very simple and traditional using only the finest, ethically sourced, environmentally friendly materials. The products come as scented candles and reed diffusers. Unlike many brands we use a new synthetic carrier for our diffusers which is completely non flammable, very stable and carries the fragrances very well for at least six months. The candles are a paraffin compound which has had any elements which were thought to be harmful (although this is unproven) removed, cotton wicks and packaging all of which can be recycled.
Do you have a favourite product?
I created all the fragrances so, naturally I like them all! Of them however I would have to say a View of Italy – The Villa in my living space and A View of Provence – The Gite in the bedroom work well for me. Our two newer fragrances S. Rosaturm and S. Liliaceum are taken from 2000 year old recipes and are the most inspirational. They have honey and wine notes that the Romans would have recognised.
Can you describe your workspace?
As an ethically driven 21st century business we use as little paper as we possibly can, working almost entirely in the cloud. This is useful as we have people working for and with us all over the country who can all be linked virtually all the time. If I need to test new fragrances I do so in a room which has no fragrance in it – not easy, as I love my environment to be perfumed.
What’s a typical work day like for you?
I meet with perfumers regularly to share ideas. I also meet my manufacturers to discuss changes and developments. We have just started a programme of trade fairs which we hope to continue throughout 2015 and 2016 here and abroad and of course I like to visit potential stockists and introduce them to A Life with a View.
Tempted to try one of Graham’s products? Head over to the Great British Life shop to discover the range of luxury candles and reed diffusers.